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Deep-sea technologies to be used for shale gas drilling


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According to a leading global equipment supplier to the drilling industry, deep sea drilling will be the new solution to accessing shale gas supplies.

John Pfeiffer, vice president of FMC technologies made the pitch for the use of this technology developed by his company in the North Sea, off the coasts of Brazil and western Africa as operations there continue to recover from the 2010 Macondo deep-sea oil spill.

The technologies use tall structures of pumps and valves installed above wells to control high-pressure injections and separation systems that treat flow back fluids that come from the wells.

This use of deep sea Shale drilling has already been proposed at the Pittsburgh International Airport, and is due to be voted on, reports.

One use of the technology is a 'de-sander' feature which separates the corrosive sand content. When speaking to Pfeiffer said that this has an obvious and valuable application for shale gas operators who must recover as much as a million gallons from the fracking fluid mix forced into the shale wells.

Mr Pfeiffer said "If you can separate out the sand in the proppant early in the return phase, you can dramatically improve the life of the equipment that is downstream."

Author: Michael McFadyen

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